24 June 2007

Scotophile Monday

Welcome back to Scotophile Monday, where I post interesting tidbits of Scottish news, history, culture, humor, photos, whatever strikes my fancy. All sources are credited. Click the Read More link and enjoy!

Duke of Wellington Traffic Cone Hats...
Although recently the Duke of Wellington's equestrian statue outside the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow has not been sporting a red and white traffic cone on the head of the Iron Duke, that headgear was at one time an almost permanent fixture. At one point it was suggested that it was not appropriate and efforts should be made to stop its reappearance every time it was removed,. But there was support in high places, including the Lord Provost, who expressed disappointment, saying that it highlighted the Glaswegian sense of humour. Read more

Stone of Destiny - The Movie
When four Scottish Nationalist students snatched the Stone of Destiny from Westminster abbey in London on Christmas Day in 1950, it made worldwide headlines. Now there are plans to turn the story into a movie, with director Charlie Martin Smith (best known as an actor in The Untouchables, American Graffiti and several westerns) finalising casting and locations. The "Scottish heist movie" is being based on a book by one of the students who took part in the daring raid to take back to Scotland the Stone of Destiny (reputed to date back to biblical times) which had been pillaged by King Edward I in 1296. Read more

From Flush to Plush
A public toilet ("rest rooms" in some parts of the world) in St Andrews was sold this week for £195,000 to an unnamed buyer who may convert it to housing. Read more

Last Gasp Bid to Save "City of Adelaide"
There have been previous failed efforts to save the clipper "City of Adelaide" which has been rotting on a slipway at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Ayrshire for the last 15 years. But yet another bid to raise £1.5 million has been started by the north-east England city of Sunderland, where the ship was built in 1864. The ship is five years older than the "Cutty Sark" which is moored on the river Thames as a tourist attraction. Read more

Lochaber Wins Geopark Status
1,000 million years of geological history has helped the Lochaber area of Scotland to become Europe's newest "geopark". It stretches from Rannoch Moor in the south to Knoydart in the north, and from the Small Isles in the west to Glen Spean in the east. Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain, is within its boundary. Read more

This Week in Scottish History
June 24 1314 - Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II at Battle of Bannockburn.
June 25 1799 - David Douglas, explorer and botanist, born at Scone, Perthshire. In addition to the Douglas Fir, he brought back to Europe lupins, phlox, penstemmon, sunflowers, clarkia, Californian poppy, mimulus, flowering currant, rose of sharon and mahonia.
June 25 1887 - Wallace statue unveiled at the Wallace National Monument, Stirling.
June 25 1971 - Lord Boyd Orr, biologist and Nobel Prize Winner, died.
June 25 1876 - Seven Scots, including John Stuart Forbes, were in the US 7th Cavalry with General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
June 25 1891 - The first Sherlock Holmes story by Edinburgh-born author Arthur Conan Doyle was published in the "Strand" magazine.
June 26 1488 - James IV crowned king at the age of 15 at Scone. He reigned until 1513 when he fell with the flower of Scotland's nobility at the Battle of Flodden Field.
June 26 1695 - Darien Company formed to set up a Scottish colony in Panama.
June 26 1830 - King George IV died, aged 67 (and William IV ascended the throne). George IV is reckoned to be Britain's fattest king. His favourite breakfast was two roast pigeons, three beefsteaks, a bottle of white wine, a glass of champagne, two of port and one brandy.
June 27 1583 - King James VI (aged 8) escaped from Castle Ruthven.
June 28 1838 - Queen Victoria crowned at Westminster Abbey.
June 30 1857 - Start of trial for murder of Madeleine Smith who was eventually found "Not Proven"

Scottish Proverbs
Mony cooks ne’er made a gude kail. (Too many cooks spoil the broth).

The lost Bond: for Sean's eyes only
IT IS the most ambitious and action-packed James Bond movie ever. Sean Connery returns as 007, battles a robot shark in the New York sewers, water-skis the Hudson River, and parachutes on to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
Sadly, however, it was never filmed and exists today in a few recently unearthed sketches and photographs. Warhead never made it in front of the cameras, let alone on to the big screen, falling victim not to SPECTRE, but to a bitter and complicated legal battle.
Bond aficionados have always vaguely known about "the great lost Bond movie". But only now has it become apparent just how close it came to being filmed in 1977. And the full extent of Connery's involvement - not just as the star, but also as producer and in the unfamiliar role of scriptwriter - is only now clear.
Read more

Scotland's "Great Wall"
Scotland features four World Heritage sites - the isle of St Kilda, Edinburgh's New Town and Old Town, New Lanark, and Neolithic Orkney. Efforts are under way to gain similar status to the Roman ruins of the Antonine Wall, and the person directing Scotland's bid offers a glimpse into the wall's history.
Read more

Killer Rabbit!
WE HAVE real-life beasties such as the midge and fantastical monsters such as Nessie, but now investigators believe they have found a new fearsome creature roaming the forests and glens of Scotland.
Researchers have produced two carcasses of what they hope is a previously undiscovered species - a large rabbit-headed wildcat.
The mystery black mammal has a small head, a large snout, long canine teeth and - most distinctively - long ears which bear a resemblance to a rabbit or hare.
Big cat hunters are calling on gamekeepers to help trap a live rabbit-headed cat so its identity can be established once and for all.
Read more

DNA test may solve the name game for outlawed MacGregors
They were once the most feared and persecuted clansmen in Scotland - forced to renounce their ancient ancestry or face execution.
For two centuries the MacGregors, including the legendary Rob Roy, lived as outlaws for refusing to renounce their name. Others legally changed their surnames to escape persecution as the clan was dispersed to the four winds.
But now, 233 years after the persecution of the MacGregors finally ended, the latest advances in DNA technology are being used for the first time by the Clan Gregor Society to welcome "lost" clansmen back into their fold.
Read more

Daggers drawn as Hollywood rivals do battle over Macbeth
"DOUBLE, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble." Four centuries after Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, two rival sets of film-makers are battling to produce a Hollywood version of the "Scottish play".
Both have major players in the film world behind them and both have declared similar intentions of appealing to a modern audience with special effects that play up the supernatural elements of the classic drama.

Hmmmm. Sound familiar?
A study into the Scottish election voting fiasco has found the highest proportion of rejected constituency votes came in the most deprived areas.
The probe, by the University of Strathclyde, was triggered by the chaos which saw more than 140,000 spoiled papers in the May poll.
It also found that more votes were discounted in areas where there were a larger number of list candidates.
The Electoral Commission has already launched an inquiry into the problems.

Scottish Weblog of the Week
Isle of Islay
News, travel tips, great pictures!


Anonymous said...

I like your blog, I'm just back from an overnight stay on Rannoch Moor, It's my home :-)

Carolan Ivey said...

Hi E., nice to meet you! How awesome that you live in Scotland. I've only traveled there a couple times and hope to return one day.